I almost feel like to write about this book would trivialize it. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is haunting; it's characters so endearing that they break your heart and his attention to poetic detail about people hard to match. Set in Nazi Germany, the story follows the childhood of Liesel and is based in her learning to read and write and her love of story side by side with the attempted destruction of the human spirit. Death is the creative, omniscient narrator who himself becomes haunted by her story. While collecting the souls of the lost, he comments that not only does he see the worst of humans, but the best and beauty of them and can never quite figure out the contradiction.
I really can't say anymore at this point, except that my train ride this weekend and my arrival at home was filled with sobbing over some of my most favorite characters since Oskar (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close), Owen (A Prayer for Owen Meany) and Philibert (Hunting and Gathering). Sigh.
I am meeting to talk about this book with some really fabulous people next week, so I may follow up then...(most likely with a rant on why we need to live for what matters and take care of people's souls and really learn from our past), but until then, all I can do is beg you to read it.